Another lovely summery day on the highveld of Gauteng as paddlers poured down the local KLip river from Daleside, Ixoxo Manzi, 22kms through white water rapids and technical manouvering sections, to finish the Gauteng K2 River Championships, hosted by Florida Lake Canoe Club, on Sunday 30 August 2015.  156 paddlers in all with 6 K3’s, and 21 K1s, while the rest were K2 including a pleasing number of ladies!

Paddlers who opted for the turbulent fast flowing line on the far right of mine rapid may have made up a few places as the left line was once again congested with boats sideways, upside down, swimmers, and broken or damaged boats and paddlers which contributed to the chaos -in every batch from A batch!  However the drop into the turbulent water is not easy and there are a number of swimmers – its a smooth fast swim although recovery once in the pool below takes time….

The rapid is actually very easy to shoot and we trip it every weekend with children, first timers, para-canoeist K3,K2 and k1’s without any incidents but all it takes on race day – is ONE boat to go sideways – blocking the line so the next half dozen can’t go anywhere – it takes time to straighten out the boats that came in wide around the rocky ledge, then needed to turn left and turn right to line up with the channel…..  photos of the wider/zigzag left, sharp turn right – difficult line here….hoping to raise awareness of the problems caused in a race environment ……on this shallow section in winter level water flow.

Those who hugged the left and slid over the shallow rock shelf RIGHT next to the marshalls feet, WITH PACE were able to maintain a straight line and keep paddling straight down the left line to exit into the pool below…..making it seem so easy!   PHOTOS HERE

The difficulties change depending on water level and low level needs good momentum and to keep the boat straight all the way from the eddy on top, over the rocky ledge into the exit channel……


Broken Weir also had its fair share of swimmers although the line is very turbulent there seems to be plenty of water flowing through and two days running we never touched a rock going down, however one poor K2 pegged and parked there in the rapid…..for a while before shifting lose in the current!

The rest of the river seems to have been incident and trouble free and giant kingfisher as well as a young legavaan watched racers stream past, and a young cowling (too old to be a calf) was stuck in the river trying to figure out how it got there and how it would get back up again while the smells of fresh farm manure drifted across in the breeze!!

Sowetans filled the top spots from SCARC – Siyabonga Tyiki and Thando Ngamlana finished first in 1 hour 19 minutes, as 1st Under 23, with Phineas Zulu and Alex Roberts finishing 2nd as first seniors, in a time of 1 hour 21 minutes.  Sibusiso Chwayi and Alex Masina (JCC)  were 3rd place finishers, as 1st Under 16 two seconds later while in the same bunch Tom Ngcobo and Simnikiwe Ntondini were 4th half a minute later as 2nd senior finishers, while  10 seconds later VLC’s Greg Smith and JCC’s Martin van den Bergh were the third seniors to cross the finish line.

Winning Subveterans were JCC/CEN combination Michael Kirkby and Raymond Rorich in 1;24, while the first Sub Masters from Centurion were next as 10th K2, in 1:25 Theo Smith and Wally Fisher having made up good time after being caught up in the carnage on Mine Rapid.

The first finishing Veterans were Jason Brown and Gerrie Moolman (Dabs) in 1:31,

Nkosi Mzolo was the first K1 finisher as the 12th boat, (SOW) in 1:28, and the first Mixed double (U23) was Tshidiso Bobo with Sneziwe Gxobole (SOW).

The winning grandmasters were Meyer Steyn and Graham Holm, 18th overall, in 1:30 while the first Veteran finishers were Jason Brown with Gerhard Moolman (DABS) some 40 seconds later, and Peter Geach and Llewellyn Walters (Dabs) brought the first masters boat across the finish line, 24th overall, in 1 Hour 33 minutes .

Sarah Robinson and Janet Bartlet (DABS) were the winners of the ladies race, in 1:33:32 having opted for the far line on the right side of mine rapid and the Watuni K3 finished as the first K3 finishers 3 seconds later – with Andre Zandbergh, Courtney Jee and Jan Leonard.

The Under 18 first finishers were VLC’s Buti Lamola and Kanyisa Mancoba, in 1;36, and Kirsty Fox, (ERK) was the 2nd lady finisher, and first lady K1 in a time of 1;36:34.

JCC’s K3 was the Grand Master Winner, in 1:39, with Anthony Phelp, Andre van der Merwe, Bernard Krone.

Monique Steven (FLCC) and Holly Spencer (TUKS) brought in the 3rd ladies boat, 2nd K2 ladies, in 1:44, and another ladies K1 Sylvia Nel (LIK) finished in 2:22!

Well done to all finishers and hard luck to those with broken boats / damage – you are all wiser and more experienced now!

Thanks to Kia/Hyundai Fourways for their sponsorship and provision of a shuttle bus and driver for those without seconds to be able to enjoy the race, while also cooking up a storm with delicious boerie rolls!

Thats a wrap for the FLCC third river race in the series of races!!

Jennie Dallas

for GCU PR

082 857 8571